Tigers Division 1 women looked to continue its good form in the 10th round of the 2022 Lower South East Hockey Association season last weekend.
The side played brilliantly against Redbacks in the previous round, however it had to take on Strikers on Sunday without young mid-fielders Abbey Hood and Brooke Marcus, as well as the experience of full back Deb Hicks.
With these outs it was a re-shuffled Tigers side that looked to continue its recent dominance of Strikers, but the latter was well up to the task and eyed off a victory.
The first goal was scored by Tiger Latisha Adam with a perfect deflection from the right hand corner which keeper Kate Fabian could do nothing about.
Kaitlyn Nisbet was dominating the centre of the field and fed her wings effectively, but despite the hard running of Olivia Turner, Tigers could not add too the scoreboard.
Strikers then scored a goal of their own by Cathy Ashby, whose perfect deflection wrong footed goalie Linda Dodds to make it 1-1 leading into half time.
The second half was an arm wrestle with Tigers having the slight ascendancy, but unable to score thanks to the great defensive work of Chloe Boylan, who was in her side’s best.
In the end Tigers was left to rue some missed opportunities and had to settle with a 1-1 draw.
Tigers enjoyed more success in Division 2 by overcoming Strikers 4-0.
Tigers had to cope without legendary centre forward Teena McKee, but youngster Clare Hopgood was tasked with the role and only needed three minutes to open the scoring with an shot from the top of the circle.
Jo Hopgood then made it 2-0 after getting on the end of some good team play with Ollie Abblitt.
Tigers had many short corner opportunities but did not have their radar on, keeping the score at 2-0 at the half.
Youngster Corrie Taylor was playing beautifully at fullback for Strikers and repelled a lot of attacks, but could not prevent a well weighted through ball finding Shelley Carne, who expertly pushed it past the keeper for Tigers’ third goal.
Dani Wighton rounded out the scoring for Tigers, who kept their top two chances alive with a convincing victory.
In the Under 15’s match top team Strikers looked to avenge their defeat by Tigers from the previous week, but was forced to settle with a 0-0 draw.
Tigers created more scoring opportunities, but the match was dominated by the defence as both sides struggled to get anything forward.
Lottie Kain and Briony Pettingill were strong on the half back line for Tigers, barely allowing the Strikers attackers any space to create opportunities for the moving forwards.
Similarly, Monique Shephard and Brooklyn Hill kept Tigers’ forwards quiet as well, with short corners being the yellow and black’s best opportunity to break through.
A good rivalry between the clubs will continue, with a win, loss and draw each between them providing plenty of motivation for the final rounds of the season.
In the men’s top of the table clash on Friday night, Tigers easily accounted for Strikers 5-1.
The grand performance was largely thanks to a stand-out performance by Aaron Mengler who ended up with four individual goals next to his name.
Mengler and Striker Jordan Millhouse are the top two scorers in the Division 1 men’s season and on this occasion it was the former with the bragging rights.
The result gave Tigers a small one game buffer over Strikers at the top of the table.
In the last time West and Cavaliers met, the latter surprised all to claim an eventual victory.
West was keen to make amends from the outset and heading into attack time and time again through the efforts of Brayden Burston and David Vine, West was held goalless in the first term.
The second quarter was much the same as the Cavaliers defence in Westbrook and Fabian were kept constantly under attack by the West forward line.
But they did a fantastic job to keep the score line at 0-0 heading into the main break.
West was forced to be inventive as the traditional path to goal was unfruitful.
From a baseline cross into the goal face, Jack Lieshman effortlessly put the ball into the net to take the lead.
Now under pressure, Cavaliers changed to a more attacking style and West felt the pressure for the remainder of the term.
Cavaliers welcomed back Matthew McGregor who looked like scoring, but West put another into the net to take a 2-0 lead into the three quarter time break.
Vine had to stop playing at the final break due to work commitments, which gave Cavaliers new opportunities.
This meant the game evened with West keeper Hutchesson getting into the action.
Through the assistance of O’Hehir, Smith and Robertson, West was able to maintain a clean sheet for the game, giving them a strong confidence boost going into the last part of the season.
In the end a 2-0 win was recorded in a tight fight.
There will be no games this weekend as the Lower South East Hockey Association has a bye round.
This weekend a group of promising Under 14 and 17 juniors will travel to the Riverland to compete for a spot in the South Eastern Eagles hockey team squad which takes on the city squads in the State Championships in late September.
The camp will combine skills sessions and matches, with participants from the Lower South East, Naracoorte, Tatiara and Riverland associations all involved.
It is the next step in the state squad selection process for some of the regions hopefuls and should be a great weekend of hockey for all involved.